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British Industrial History

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Thomas Lamb Willshire

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Thomas Lamb Willshire of the Barnstaple Foundry

c1804 Born

1861 Living at 2 Nelson Terrace, Newport Road, Barnstaple: Thomas L. Willshire (age 57 born Bristol), Retired ironfounder. With his son Charles S. Willshire (age 23 born Barnstaple), Ironfounder and his wife Mary Willshire (age 21 born Filleigh). Two servants.[1]

1876 Barnstaple: 'We regret to announce the death of Thomas Lambe Willshire, Esq., of Nelson Terrace, an old inhabitant of this borough, and much respected, whether in private, commercial, or public life. Mr. Willshire was a native of Bristol, and came to Barnstaple nearly fifty years ago, having purchased the Newport iron foundry, which had then been but recently erected by Mr. Joseph Besly Gribble (still living in America at the age of about 90). Mr. Willshire carried on the foundry very successfully for many years, and his conduct as a man of business procured him the confidence and esteem of all with whom he came contact. Several years ago he relinquished business in favour of his only son, Alderman C. S. Willshire, by whom it is at present conducted. The deceased always took a lively interest in public affairs. He was one of those of whom very few remain among us — who bore an active part in the struggle which preceded and won the first Reform Act of 1832 ; and the Liberal cause had no firmer or more consistent and enightened adherent. Others might falter, or prove recreant; but Mr. Willshire was constant with his party, whether in good or evil fortune. He became a member the Town Council soon after the Municipal Reform Act of 1835, and continued so for several triennial terms. He was elevated to the bench of borough magistrates 1863, acceptably served the office of Mayor in 1864-5, and was sedulous in his attendance at the bench until increasing infirmity disabled him. He suffered terribly in the gout from comparatively early life ; and, after a confinement to his house of some weeks, he died in peace and Christian hope on Tuesday last, from a general break-up of the constitution, at the age of 72. We understand the interment is to take place at the cemetery Saturday, 11 o'clock.'[2]

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Sources of Information

  1. 1861 Census
  2. North Devon Journal, 3 February 1876